Doreen in front of sign
Doreen Knott, who is retiring tomorrow after 42 years with the organization, has been known for her “sense of humour and go-with-the-flow demeanour,” says a longtime colleague. (Photo: UHN)

Doreen Knott's career offers a snapshot of technological change.

It was a world of paper charts and typewriters when she started in Health Records at Princess Margaret Hospital on Sherbourne St. in 1976. Now, electronic patient records and digital voice dictation software are the reality in UHN Transcription Services, where Doreen will call it a career on Thursday after 42 years.

"I have enjoyed my working career in Health Records, especially Transcription, where I have been for 20-plus years," Doreen says. "With the changes in IT technology, I felt like I was starting a new job every few years when we would update our transcription system."

In addition to adapting to technological change, Doreen – who is known as The Voice Behind Transcription Customer Service – has calmed down many a panicked medical student trying to obtain dictation access as well as many Residents and Fellows looking for their notes.

"Doreen has always maintained her sense of humour and go-with-the-flow demeanour to help keep the department on track with the tremendous changes we have endured throughout the years – from moving office from site-to-site many times over, to changes in technology," says Sandra Clifford, Transcription Supervisor, who has been working side-by-side with Doreen throughout their careers, starting in Health Records before transitioning to Transcription Services.

"Doreen and I 'grew up' together over the last 42 years at Princess Margaret and then UHN, so I will really miss my dear friend." 

Same goes for all Doreen's colleagues in Transcription and throughout UHN.

In her retirement, Doreen, who was Doreen Mulvihill when she started her career here, and her husband, Pat, will move back to their home town of Renfrew, about an hour west of Ottawa, and modernize her old family home while enjoying the quiet life, a slower pace – and no more GO trains.

"I will certainly miss my co-workers who have become family over the years," Doreen says. "We have shared a lot and I will miss their friendship and support. 

"What I won't miss is getting up at 5 am!"​

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